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Will Pickle Juice Really Become the Next Sports Drink for Exercisers?


Early last week my colleague and dailySpark.com editor Stepfanie Romine, sent me an idea for a blog about using pickle juice as a electrolyte replacement source for exercisers . She actually stumbled across the idea from one of the comments left on her blog from a Spark member regarding the use of energy gels and supplements.

My first thought was--FOR REAL? In my almost 4 years of running I have come across a number of electrolyte replacement sources in my time--everything from Gatorade and PowerAde to Pedialyte, salt tablets, even pretzels, but I have never heard of anyone using pickle juice to rehydrate or replace electrolytes with. But it makes sense.

Posted 10/28/2009  4:52:29 PM By: Nancy Howard : 165 comments   25,747 views
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One More Reason To Drink Your Water


I'm routinely asked why SparkPeople focuses so much on drinking water. The idea that you need to drink 8 glasses a day is a myth, right? Although the amount of water you should consume varies from person to person, there are a lot of reasons to make sure you're getting enough. If you're looking for a few, a new study confirms that water drinkers tend to have better diets.
Posted 10/27/2009  6:02:52 AM By: Jen Mueller : 194 comments   19,163 views
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I Ate It: Fruit2Day Chewable, Drinkable Fruit


We're continuing a popular new feature on the dailySpark: food reviews written by you, our loyal readers!

Jessica Dudley aka MRSDUDLEY first wrote about the food that gave bread the boot in her house! Now's she's back to write about how she's adding more fruit to her day.


By Jessica Dudley

What is the product called? Fruit2Day

Where did you buy it? Shop-n-Save, Collinsville, IL; it is located in the refrigerated case in the produce aisle.

Posted 10/5/2009  1:28:08 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 86 comments   14,426 views
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Are Diet Soft Drinks Really A Better Alternative?


When you decide it's time to make a change to your diet, one of the first things a lot of people do is switch out the regular soda for diet. It saves on calories and sugar, and can still give you the caffeine boost and beverage variety you're looking for. But some recent studies say that diet drinks might not be much better for your health.

A 2007 study from Boston University found that both sugar sodas and diet drinks boost the risk of metabolic syndrome- a collection of risk factors that increase your risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Another study, published in the journal Circulation, found the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was 34 percent higher among those who drank one can of diet soda a day compared with those who drank none. Keep in mind that these studies show an association between diet soda and metabolic syndrome. They don't necessarily say that drinking diet soda will lead you to develop the condition.
Posted 8/11/2009  2:08:30 PM By: Jen Mueller : 434 comments   58,048 views
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You Asked: Is Muscle Milk Good for You?


Performance enhancing supplements have become big business. Many drinks, powders and bars promise a competitive edge through increased strength, development of an ultra lean body or increased recovery responses so you can work out harder and more effectively. We encourage all our readers to use care when selecting and taking any pre- or post-workout supplement and to only use them as pre- and post-workout snacks and not as meal replacements for dieting purposes. Recently a reader contacted us about a new type of supplement called Muscle Milk, wanting to know if it was different than other supplements and a good option for her and her husband. Here is what we learned.
Posted 7/30/2009  12:53:56 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 82 comments   114,228 views
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We Cut the Calories in Your 5 Favorite Cocktails


When you're out to dinner, you probably make special requests to slim down your meal: sauce on the side, no butter, hold the salt. You can also to the same for your favorite cocktails!

When we sidle on up to the bar or pour a drink at home, we can treat ourselves without bankrupting our calorie bank for the day. Many cocktails served in bars and especially in restaurants are super sized, loaded with caloric garnishes and overpriced. Find out how you can slim down five of the most popular--and caloric--cocktails out there. (Some of these requests and recipes are more suited for home, but you can always ask the bartender to specially make your drink.)
Posted 7/24/2009  2:18:48 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 81 comments   19,649 views
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3 New Supermarket Products!


Who's hungry? Me, too!

It's a great time to share some of the NEW foods and drinks we've tried--and want you to try! Here are some quick reviews of these new products.

NEW flavors from Gnu
The folks at Gnu sent us their high-fiber bars to try a few months ago, and we reviewed them on the dailySpark.

Now there are two more flavors, which we recently sampled: Lemon Ginger and Espresso Chip. If you like lemon, you'll love the new Lemon Ginger bar. The Espresso Chip bar has more espresso than chip, so if you like coffee, this is the bar for you. Like all Gnu bars, these have 12 g of fiber (about half of your daily recommended value). The lemon flavor has 130 calories and 4 g fat; the espresso bar has 140 calories and 4 g fat. It's just my opinion, but I think the Lemon Ginger bars are the best Gnu flavor yet! For more info on Gnu bars, including where to buy, read this post.

Who's thirsty? We were recently sent some new drinks, too.

Posted 7/22/2009  6:10:52 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 49 comments   10,170 views
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Is Moderate Drinking Really Good for Your Health?


Numerous studies have suggested that alcohol can be part of a healthy diet. In fact, many suggest that moderate amounts of alcohol can reduce your risk for heart disease and even diabetes. But not all researchers are convinced that alcohol- even in moderation- is good for you.

Critics say that no study has ever proved a causal relationship between moderate drinking and lower disease rates- only that the two tend to go together. Does moderate drinking make you healthier, or is it just that healthy people tend to drink moderately? If you're a moderate drinker, it's assumed that you probably take care of yourself (eating healthy, exercising regularly). So are those the lifestyle habits that most significantly contribute to good health, instead of how much you drink?
Posted 6/30/2009  5:24:40 PM By: Jen Mueller : 87 comments   11,692 views
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Should You Be Drinking Vitamin Enhanced Water?




Eating a balanced diet every day is the best way to make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

A multivitamin can be helpful in providing some "insurance" for those days when your food choices aren't the best.

Water regulates every function of our body, flushes out waste and toxins and transports nutrients. Since our bodies contain about 70% water, it is really important to drink water daily.

So what about the combination of vitamins and water together?


Posted 6/11/2009  6:44:44 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 178 comments   17,558 views
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Another Reason to Drink Water: Prevent a Heart Attack


We all know that water is good for you. It can help you feel fuller, it's a good replacement for sugary drinks like soda or juice, improves the look of your skin- the list is long. But did you know that drinking water might also help reduce your risk of a heart attack?
Posted 6/9/2009  9:12:08 AM By: Jen Mueller : 132 comments   30,130 views
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Nutrition 101: What Is Crystalline Fructose?


Recently, some of you asked about crystalline fructose, a sweetener that is used in plenty of drinks, even some that call themselves "health drinks." We decided to do some research into this corn-based sweetener to help you better understand what you're sipping.

Fructose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in fruits and vegetables. Many of us consume it regularly as part of our healthy diet. We also know that fructose is 55% of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with glucose making up the other 45%.

What about the crystalline form of fructose that is being used in carbonated beverages, enhanced or flavored waters, sports and energy drinks, and nutrition bars as well as baked goods, frozen foods, cereal, dairy products, reduced-calorie foods, canned fruits, and drink mixes?
Posted 5/25/2009  7:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 41 comments   36,383 views
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We Drank It: POMx Iced Coffee


When we heard that the pomegranate juice purveyor POM was selling coffee, we were intrigued and slightly perplexed. Pomegranate isn't a fruit flavor that we thought would mix well with coffee. What would it taste like? Why mix coffee and pomegranates? Would it be fruity?

We were proven wrong. The coffee is made by POM, and it does contain the antioxidant power of pomegranates, but it does not taste like the Persephone's forbidden fruit in the least! It's only available in a few markets for now, but we wanted to be ahead of the trend.

We've got plenty of java junkies around the office who jumped at the chance to try a cool new coffee.

Posted 4/30/2009  6:19:49 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 100 comments   10,913 views
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Would a Soda Tax Help Fight the Fat?


With the increase in obesity rates among young people and adults, policy makers are always looking for ways to discourage the excess consumption of unhealthy foods. One idea that's getting been getting attention in recent months is food taxes. According to a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine, "Even if one quarter of the calories consumed from sugared beverages are replaced by other food, the decrease in consumption would lead to an estimated reduction of 8000 calories per person per year ó slightly more than 2 lb each year for the average person."
Posted 4/17/2009  6:13:12 AM By: Jen Mueller : 352 comments   8,042 views
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Can Water Fountains Help Fight Obesity?


A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that installing water fountains in schools can have a direct impact on childhood obesity rates. Surprised?
Posted 4/14/2009  5:57:10 PM By: Jen Mueller : 101 comments   8,340 views
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Could Your Sports Drink Be Ruining Your Smile?


As a runner, it isnít too unusual for me to strap on my fuel belt loaded with four small bottles filled with my all-time favorite sports drink, Accelerade, as I head out for a long run. Not only does a sports drink supply my body with the necessary hydration, it also allows me to replenish the glycogen stores that I will deplete on my long runs, giving me the added energy to continue running.
Posted 4/8/2009  5:05:09 PM By: Nancy Howard : 75 comments   6,039 views
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